DOD takes charge of major Air Force acquisitions

DOD press release on Wynne oversight of AF acquisition programs

The Defense Department’s top acquisition official assumed oversight of 21 major Air Force acquisition programs valued at more than $200 billion, including more than $50 billion in satellite contracts.

Don't view the move as a punitive action against Air Force officials, said Michael Wynne, undersecretary of Defense for acquisition. He said in a March 28 statement that his decision to oversee major service acquisitions "is meant to assist the Air Force by overseeing and providing advice on important Air Force programs during a time of transition."

The Air Force currently has no secretary or permanent acquisition chief. The service's top ranks have been roiled during the past year by procurement scandals related to former acquisition chief Darleen Druyun's actions with Boeing, which hired her as a vice president after she left the Air Force.

Druyun was convicted last year of conspiring with Boeing’s former chief financial officer to help the company win a multibillion-dollar tanker leasing contract. At her sentencing, Druyun said she favored Boeing during the years she worked for the Air Force.

Wynne set no deadline for his takeover of the major Air Force acquisition programs, but in the next 15 days, he wants a list of all significant program and milestone decisions expected within the next six months on these programs.

Major satellite programs Wynne will now oversee include:

* Transformational Satellite Communications program, worth $18.6 billion.

* Navstar Global Positioning Satellite, worth $7.6 billion.

* Space-based Infrared System Program, High Component, worth $9.6 billion.

* National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System, worth $7.6 billion.

* Mobile User Objective System, worth $5.9 billion.

* Global Broadcast System, worth $800 million.

* Wideband Gapfiller Satellite System, worth $1.8 billion.

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